The FIG Congress has voted to officially include parkour events within gymnastics ©Getty Images

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Congress has voted in favour of including parkour as an official new discipline.

FIG representatives gathered in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku ratified the statutes valid from January 1 this year following the FIG Executive Committee’s decision.

The vote came despite a concerted campaign from parkour communities around the world to persuade participating National Gymnastics Federations to vote against the inclusion.

It has also been officially confirmed that Congress accepted the creation of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation, a new body charged with implementing FIG policy on the safeguarding and protecting of athletes.

Operational rules and a constitution for the Foundation were also agreed, along with investment policy – with the first investment sum being CHF 2 million (£1.6 million/$2 million/€1.8 million).

According to a FIG release,the General Assembly "took a number of important decisions which reflect President Morinari Watanabe's vision in the fields of governance, integrity and innovation."

The release continued:"It was in spring 2017 that this innovative, urban sport was brought under the aegis of the FIG, which organised two World Cups as test events in the same year in Montpellier, France and Chengdu, China, and the first Parkour World Cup Series earlier this year in Hiroshima, Japan and Montpellier."

The FIG Congress in Baku has produced a vote in favour of officially incorporating parkour into gymnastics ©FIG
The FIG Congress in Baku has produced a vote in favour of officially incorporating parkour into gymnastics ©FIG

Both of these cities will hold World Cup events again next year. In addition, another World Cup competition will be held in Chengdu.

The first ever Parkour World Championships are scheduled to take place between May and July 2020.

The Foundation will be established by January 1 next year and organised in three sections.

There will be a safeguarding section with a helpdesk for all participants in gymnastics, a disciplinary section with a disciplinary commission and appeal tribunal, and finally a compliance section that will monitor good governance and ethical principles.

The Congress also agreed to strengthen the FIG's governance in the field of gender equality and ratified a number of changes related to the statutes.

"For instance," the release continued, "Federations participating with more than one delegate in the Congress, must now include at least one representative of each gender.

"Regarding future elections of the three vice presidents there must be at least one candidate of each gender elected"